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Career Edge Blog

We came, we saw, we conferenced: HRPA 2010

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Last week, Career Edge Organization conquered the Human Resources Professionals Association’s Annual Conference and Tradeshow – aka HRPA 20X.

We not only took up post at the tradeshow as an exhibitor, we also had eyes and ears in the conference. So if you couldn’t make it out this year, no worries! Let us fill you in.


More than 3,500 business professionals attend the HRPA Conference and Tradeshow annually, making it Canada’s top HR event and one of the largest HR events in the world.

The event boasts 120+ workshops for professional development and over 250 exhibitors offering the latest and greatest in HR products, solutions and services. Attendees included everyone from HR students, to HR managers as well senior executives and business leaders. And, of course, we were there too!

Keynote highlights:

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Mitch Joel, digital marketing rockstar, at HRPA20X

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“The best resumes are LinkedIn, You Tube…that’s where people are who they really are.”

Today at the 2010 HRPA conference, Mitch Joel, our afternoon keynote speaker, helped the audience of human resources professionals make the important connection between digital media and employer branding.

“Be open,” he told us. “We are moving towards an open world.”

Mitch Joel is probably the most influential man in Canada as far as social media goes – it’s no wonder they call him “the rock star of digital marketing.”

For those of us who work in this space, he is to e-marketing what someone like Jack Welch is to the business world – a real thought leader. So when he speaks, we listen.

It was interesting though to see and listen to him speak at the HRPA conference today because, even though a lot of us understand and embrace the concept that we are all connected by “6 pixels of separation” (and not through Kevin Bacon, as previously thought in the 90’s), some employers are still struggling to understand what impact, if any, all of this has on what they do.

A few entertaining examples quickly illustrated that Social Media is not a Fad. It is changing everything. If you’re in the business of people, then anything that impacts connectivity directly impacts you.

Mitch said it best today with the first of his 6 closing points: “Accept it!”

Instead of creating hard policies around banning the use of social media tools in the workplace, he encourages “guidelines” that will actually teach employees how to utilize them, empowering them to be ambassadors for your organization.

“This can really increase productivity, and the way people connect to your brand,” he assured us. “This is not a time suck!”

We at Career Edge Organization certainly agree.

CEO at the HRPA Conference & Trade Show this week

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The Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) is holding their annual conference and trade show and conference this week, from Wednesday January 27th to Friday January 29th, and as in previous years, Career Edge Organization is going to be there.

As you may be aware, the general admission to the Trade Show at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (conveniently across the street from us) is FREE for all guests, so take advantage of the great networking and learning opportunity, and visit us at our booth, #337.

Update – Alumni Network Committee

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Following several successful initiatives with our former interns in previous years, Career Edge Organization decided to officially launch an association for those who completed paid internships in our three programs – Career Edge, Ability Edge and Career Bridge. We call this the Alumni Network.

In October 2009 we sent out an announcement and a call for volunteers to sit on a Committee that would steer the direction of this program. The response we received was overwhelmingly positive, with many indicating they were interested in participating in Alumni forums and events. We received over 130 applications to sit on the Committee!

Choosing the final Alumni Network Committee (ANC) members was a difficult task but we are proud to say we now have a team of 30 impressive and dedicated individuals.

For the other 100 applicants as well as the 9,500+ former interns in our database – we intend to create many opportunities to volunteer and participate with our organization, our Host Employers and each other.

To kick things off we held our inaugural ANC Meeting at Toronto City Hall (many thanks to our Ward Councillor Adam Vaughan)  this past Wednesday evening and were thrilled to see almost every single committee member in attendance, as well as members of our team including our VP, Donna Smith and our President & CEO, Anne Lamont.

To tackle the massive job of running a Network for Alumni, we decided to divide and conquer, breaking down into groups or subcommittees that will each oversee Alumni Events, Online Communities, Benefits and Perks as well as professional development needs for Alumni of each of our three programs.

By the end of the meeting, every single person had contributed and participated and there was an air of excitement and anticipation in the room because we know that collectively, we can create a program that is innovative and tailored to the specific needs of our thousands of stakeholders. I can’t wait to see what we come up with by our next ANC Meeting in the Spring!

Two more resolutions to add to your list – from Anita Bruzzese

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anita2frameMany of us have been back to work for almost two weeks now, following a few days off with loved ones or for some, a week or two of bliss someplace much warmer than here.

Now that we’re two weeks in – how are those New Year’s Resolutions coming along?

Although you may have entered 2010 fully pumped and ready to take on a long list of ambitious challenges, you may by now not even remember where you placed that list as you continue to play January “catch-up”, a game that may continue well into February. This can involve anything from catching up with work from before the holidays to catching up with people you didn’t see over the holidays.

So the last thing we need at this point is to add to our ominous and growing to-do lists, but I came upon some tips from professional blogger and journalist Anita Bruzzese that I think are very important in today’s professional work environment. Whatever you allow to fall off your radar this month, keep these targets in mind:

  1. Take the High Road
  2. Focus on Quality

In one of Anita’s columns for Gannett News Service (USA Today and many others), which she reposted on her blog, 45 Things (“Eat your salad first, and other career strategies” on January 4, 2010), she provides her own list of career resolutions for 2010 and we were happy to see that a few of the items corresponded with ours.

With Anita’s permission, we’d like to add the above two resolutions to our list and ask that you, our employers and partners, do the same. They are two simple concepts but they are often overlooked and underemphasized.

Focus on quality: A lot of companies like to say they’re focused on quality, and deluge employees with memos and reports on the subject. But there are ways to focus on the quality of your daily tasks that can make a real difference in how you are viewed at work. Try proofing every single e-mail before you send it, making sure you use proper grammar and spelling. When you leave your personal message for callers, stand up and smile while speaking. Your message will make you sound energetic and approachable.

Take the high road: Deciding to be a nicer person is a wonderful goal, and one many people like to put on their resolution list. But the guy in the cubicle next to yours drives you crazy by eating chili cheese dogs – with extra onions – at his desk. The receptionist puts your mail in the wrong box. Lots of little aggravations can challenge your “be nice” resolve at work, and before you know it, you’re upset with yourself after making a snide comment or getting in to an argument with a co-worker. Instead, make a commitment to pay a sincere compliment to one co-worker a day, especially to someone who is getting on your last nerve. Prompting yourself to see the good in someone can help put petty annoyances to rest.

-Excerpt by Anita Bruzzese